Blood - Gift of Life
As the Second World War moved into the final years, Canadians on the homefront were introduced to a new way to contribute to the war effort - by donating blood. The research by Dr. Charles Best and the Connaught Laboratories in Toronto produced a safe and convenient method for transferring the essential elements of blood in serum form to combat blood loss and shock on the front lines and military hospitals. In 1944 alone, Canadians contributed a million pints of blood destined for overseas. The St. Thomas Times Journal took the call for donations to their subscribers by illustrating how local serving men benefited from the life saving gift - they did not shrink from raising the curtain on the severity of the injuries that required such a donation. Captain Wynne Baldwin (wounded during D-Day operations), Captain Jack Jennings, (member of the Devil's Brigade-lost a leg when taking Rome), and Corporal Frank Oke, (lost a leg in Normandy while serving with the Hussars) all take the time to attest to the life-saving properties of this Canadian research.
The Elgin Military Museum has a vast collection of letters, articles, poems and pictures of veterans and others who served their community over a period of two hundred years.. This blog is our way of sharing them with you.